random quarter

one. i got my haircut last week. it’s not past my shoulders anymore. it’s probably half as long as it used to be. and i gotta tell you. i’m liking it. yes, long hair can be beautiful. mine looks a helluva lot better short.

two. my stylist told me she’d spent a day watching the hallmark channel. and i remember thinking there were so many other better things to watch than the schmaltzy crap they broadcast.

three. and yet… saturday night i had the place to myself. i was working late. usually i’ll leave the television on so that i don’t come home to a quiet house. i figured nothing on that aforementioned schmaltzy channel would give me the heebie jeebies, so i’d opted to be greeted by it when i came home. safe, right?
they were showing christmas movies, and i kind of got suckered into one for a bit. but i’d made plans to hang out with a coworker after she’d gotten off work that night, so i recorded it. and then i recalled my stylist’s affinity for that channel, so i went through the guide and dvr’ed a string of christmas flicks. 

four. and then i went to my friend’s where we watched man of steel. AWFUL MOVIE. AWFUL. i remember thinking i’d rather be home watching that hallmark crap. that superman iii and iv were preferable to this. yes, that henry cavill is quite an attractive dude. yes, i can see him as superman. but clark kent? never. EVER. he’s way too handsome and much too muscular to pass off as bumbling geek. (which is probably why they only show him as clark for like five seconds. because even the producers knew that was a huge S T R E T C H… and they’d much rather show off their mad cgi skills–which really aren’t all that–and satisfy their need to blow EVERYTHING up.)
i remember wondering throughout this film why superman returns got such a bad rap. it’s a tale based on a comic book; it’s supposed to be comical. fantastical. magical, even. you’re supposed to WONDER. you’re supposed to want to wonder. and bryan singer’s version made me appreciate the story of superman more than anyone else has ever done. sure, that ending was a little odd–superman falls from the sky and is taken to the hospital where doctors struggle to revive him. they can’t, of course. he’s not human. but what else would us earthlings do? it made sense that that they’d take him there. it made sense that they’d try. if memory serves, a lot of people bitched about that part. a LOT. what i liked about superman returns was that it had equal parts special effects and story. 
this version? the story suffered, severely, at the hands of those special effects. and the acting? UGH. it SUCKED, people. supremely.
five. of those seven (or so) hallmark films, i only liked two: the christmas card and the christmas ornament.

six. we’re doing the st. jude’s thanks and giving campaign at work again this year. i love this charity. i’m happy to promote it. to encourage others to give. it’s one more question to ask at cashwrap; if i could choose one thing to badger a customer about it’s this. i don’t care if you have a store charge card. i don’t care to know your zip code. but i do care that this hospital continues to do good works. 
so this is my spiel: we’re raising money for st. jude children’s hospital; our goal for the day is two hundred fifty dollars

(it costs about two million dollars to fund that hospital… for. one. day.)
and we’re at [insert dollar amount here]; how much would you like to contribute?

i’ll either get something like five dollars (yay!) or nothing.

and here i’ll ask, well can i at least round your total up to the nearest dollar? (i’ve had the nearest dollar mean a one cent donation… but hell, a penny’s a penny. i’ll take it.)
most people will say yes.
sunday night, i was ringing up a couple who appeared to be in their mid-twenties. the girl was not so generous. which is fine. it is. i understand how precious those pennies are. trust me. i’ve nickeled and dimed quite a few purchases in my lifetime. she was reluctant at first, but then she agreed. so there’s thirty more cents than we had.
but the boyfriend… halfway through ringing up the girl, when i’d first begun the st. jude’s spiel, his attention had been piqued. and while i finished ringing her up, he handed me a glitter ornament, the letter m, and said that he wanted to buy it. i set it aside and nodded. and as i scanned our handy barcode at the cashwrap for the change she contributed, he spoke of how there was one more thing he wanted and hurried off to get it.
now, i know, i know he’s doing this because he doesn’t have any cash and wants to contribute, too, so he’s finding things to buy so he can use his charge card (which he doesn’t need to do, but i, being the awesome merchant that i am, i’ll sell him whatever he thinks he needs to buy… you can fault me for this if you want… but, ultimately, it’s my job to sell.)
i bag up the lady’s purchase. the gentleman comes back with his pirate magnets. i ring him up. i ask if he wants to contribute. yes, he tells me, and then he asks how much we’re trying to raise and where we are. two-fifty a day, i say, and we’re at about eighty. (we’ve got about an hour left in the day, so the chances that we’ll meet this goal aren’t good). 
he tells me he’ll give two hundred.
and i about cried right there, i was so happy. 

seven. i wonder what the boy thought of the girl’s donation. what he thought of her. i know i shouldn’t. but i do.

eight. i about cried on the sales floor today, too, though not because of a customer’s generosity. a woman had selected a backpack and lunch box for her daughter. she told me she was replacing them. i’d thought this was because her daughter had lost them or mistreated them. 
no. it’s because they were in a car accident. and her daughter’s backpack had blood all over it. 
the woman? she’s got a young son with head injuries; he’d been transferred to shriner’s hospital. she’d said he was doing better.
and for the next hour, when i wasn’t with a customer, i walked the sales floor praying, over and over again please be with that family; please let that boy be well. 

i whispered it. i didn’t care if anyone happened to overhear. i didn’t care if they saw the worry on my face. 

nine. not long after she’d left, another woman came in, giddy with the news she’d just learned: her daughter won custody of her sons. 
i couldn’t help but think of the custody battles that have yet to begin.
of the time of year. 

ten. i know a woman who just lost her daughter this past summer. i can’t imagine how horrible this season will be for her. how hard. 

eleven. why can’t there be a moratorium on this stuff? a sabbatical. just a few weeks of peace. 

twelve. not long after the mother left, we got a phone call from a woman who’s sister had purchased some things. but her husband had died the day before, so it was gonna be a bit before she’d get to pick them up.

thirteen. so one of those hallmark movies, the christmas ornament, i’m watching it again today (tuesday… in case i don’t get this published today), because i really like this story. i really like the characters.

a best friend counsels the female lead, a widower: he wouldn’t want you sitting alone in the dark. 

i don’t wanna be. and sometimes i’m so worried that i always will be.

not because it’s meant to be so. but because i’m too afraid to find the light. because i’ve trapped myself here. that closet ash beckham talked about in this video? what if i’ve made it? what if i’ve stuffed myself inside?

fourteen. it’s rare that i write one of these posts in one day. usually it takes a few. and i bet yall thought i can churn one of these bad boys out in one sitting. it’s happened. a few times. but it takes HOURS. i have to be REALLY bored for that to happen.

fifteen. i don’t know what to write. i go through slumps of this. of why bother? and it takes a really long time to remember why. when i was in college, i made up this story, these people. and it was fun. a good distraction. and i loved writing about them. i would’ve preferred doing that over anything else. and then i got it in my head that i had to write a book. and it stopped being play. and it’s so rare now that it’s fun. it’s started feeling like a chore. like my meal ticket–even though my professors warned us, even though i knew this already, that the chances are good that i’d never make much.

i know i’m good.

just like i knew i had worth in my childhood. but i had to prove myself. over and over and over again. and i was never any good at that.

i want it to be fun again. it used to keep my mind occupied. and now my mind’s too crowded with it.

sixteen. i used to love christmas. there’s this part of me that still does. there’s this part of me that wants to put the christmas tree up RIGHT NOW. there’s this small glimmer of spirit i feel. and it’s almost dampened in a matter of seconds.

seventeen. barnes & noble’s advertising. this is new to me. if they’ve been doing it in the past, i haven’t noticed. i know when i walk into the nearest store, it no longer feels like a haven of sorts. i don’t want to linger. maybe if they’d invest more of their money in their stores… people might want to browse the stacks. not all of us read on tablets. some of us like to hold the book in our hands and turn the pages. 

eighteen. so we’ve got a visit this week at work. and i got called in on my day off. and the next two days i’m on call (which means i’ll probably be working). and i’m working on friday. so there’s a very good chance i’ll be doing a seven-day stretch.

maybe this is a good thing. i was gonna go tinker with my story this afternoon. but since my heart’s not in it so much… better to make twenty-five bucks than spend it on food (and maybe booze).

nineteen. one of the presents i’ve got up for grabs this month has been on hold at that barnes & noble’s for several days now. i keep meaning to pick it up. maybe i’ll get that done today.

twenty. i’m kind of tired of texas. there’s this part of me that wants a change of scenery. but i keep thinking wherever you go, there you are. 

twenty-one. i ate a couple of ho-hos today. i’ve never done that.

twenty-two. it’s occurred to me that maybe my lack of interest in physical fitness is yet another defense mechanism. it’s rare that i catch the attention of a guy who interests me. and every time that’s happened, i was being good. i quit smoking twice. the first time, two months later i met chithead. the second time, one year later, to the day, i met the boy. neither of whom were worth knowing in the long run, but… they’d piqued my interest, which isn’t an easy feat. and then last fall, i got down to a six. and a few guys noticed. and they weren’t worth knowing, either. but they’d noticed. and that hadn’t happened in a while.

so yeah. i’m hiding. in that closet i’ve constructed. maybe it hurts less in here. which isn’t to say it doesn’t hurt. but it’s me who’s causing the pain, not someone else. maybe i’m just tired of people hurting me.

twenty-three. i’ve never had to wear a cast. a sling, yes. and one of those black things that fits the entire length of your leg with the rods and the velcro. but plaster? so my skin can suffocate? no, thank you.

twenty-four. i have no idea what to get anyone for christmas this year. not even my niece and nephew. and who has trouble thinking of gifts for four-year-olds?

twenty-five. i’d managed to keep my room clean for a whole week. 

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